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Are regional systems greening the economy? The role of environmental innovations and agglomeration forces

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Author Info

  • Davide Antonioli

    ()
    (Dipartimento di Economia Istituzioni Territorio, Facoltà di Economia, Università degli Studi di Ferrara.)

  • Simone Borghesi

    ()
    (Università degli Studi di Siena, Facoltà di Scienze Politiche.)

  • Massimiliano Mazzanti

    ()
    (Departiment of Economics, Università di Ferrara (italy).)

Abstract

The adoption and diffusion of environmental innovations (EIs) is crucial to greening the economy and achieving win-win environmental-economic gains. A large and increasing literature has focused on the levers underlying EIs that are external to the firm, such as stakeholders' pressure and policy pressure. Little attention, however, has been devoted so far to the possible role of local spatial spillovers. The latter can be very relevant since growth depends on strong idiosyncratic regional factors - such asagglomeration economies - that must be integrated with the challenges posed by global markets. To overcome this drawback of the existing literature, we analyse here a rich dataset that covers the innovative activities and economic performances of firms in the Emilia-Romagna Region in Italy, a manufacturing district-rich area. We analyse firms' performances through a two-step procedure. First, we look at the relevance of spatial levers, namely whether the agglomeration of EIs induces EIs in a given firm. Second, we test whether EIs have significantly increased firms' economic performances. As to the importance of spatial levers, the role of agglomeration turns out to be fairly local in nature:we find that spillovers are significantly inducing innovation within municipal boundaries, which is coherent with the district-based Marshallian economies of north- eastern Italy. Regarding economic performances, firms' productivity is positively related to EI adoption; in particular,firms that adopt EIs and organizational change show a better economic performance.Our findings suggest that EIscanbe a key source of growth for regional systems, particularly when spurred by local spillovers, and an important way outof the ongoing crisis.

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File URL: http://www.sustainability-seeds.org/papers/RePec/srt/wpaper/0414.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by SEEDS, Sustainability Environmental Economics and Dynamics Studies in its series SEEDS Working Papers with number 0414.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2014
Date of revision: Feb 2014
Handle: RePEc:srt:wpaper:0414

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Web page: http://www.sustainability-seeds.org

Related research

Keywords: environmental innovations; firm economic performances; local spillovers; manufacturing; agglomeration;

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References

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  1. Bernhard Truffer & Lars Coenen, 2012. "Environmental Innovation and Sustainability Transitions in Regional Studies," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(1), pages 1-21, November.
  2. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Giulio Cainelli & Roberto Zoboli, 2007. "Environmentally-Oriented Innovative Strategies and Firm Performances in Services. Micro-Evidence from Italy," Working Papers 2007.104, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  3. Cainelli, Giulio & Mazzanti, Massimiliano, 2013. "Environmental innovations in services: Manufacturing–services integration and policy transmissions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1595-1604.
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  9. Kemp, René & Pontoglio, Serena, 2011. "The innovation effects of environmental policy instruments — A typical case of the blind men and the elephant?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 28-36.
  10. Giulio Cainelli, 2008. "Spatial Agglomeration, Technological Innovations, and Firm Productivity: Evidence from Italian Industrial Districts," Growth and Change, Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky, vol. 39(3), pages 414-435.
  11. Jonathan Michie & Maura Sheehan, 2003. "Labour market deregulation, 'flexibility' and innovation," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(1), pages 123-143, January.
  12. Cainelli, Giulio & Mancinelli, Susanna & Mazzanti, Massimiliano, 2007. "Social capital and innovation dynamics in district-based local systems," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 932-948, December.
  13. Davide Antonioli & Massimiliano Mazzanti & Paolo Pini, 2010. "Productivity, innovation strategies and industrial relations in SMEs. Empirical evidence for a local production system in northern Italy," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(4), pages 453-482.
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  15. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Helmers, Christian, 2013. "Innovation and diffusion of clean/green technology: Can patent commons help?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 33-51.
  16. Veugelers, Reinhilde, 2012. "Which policy instruments to induce clean innovating?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(10), pages 1770-1778.
  17. Iammarino, Simona & McCann, Philip, 2006. "The structure and evolution of industrial clusters: Transactions, technology and knowledge spillovers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1018-1036, September.
  18. Costantini, Valeria & Mazzanti, Massimiliano & Montini, Anna, 2013. "Environmental performance, innovation and spillovers. Evidence from a regional NAMEA," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 101-114.
  19. Horbach, Jens & Rennings, Klaus, 2012. "Environmental innovation and employment dynamics in different technology fields: An analysis based on the German community innovation survey 2009," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-006, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  20. Catherine Beaudry & Stefano Breschi, 2003. "Are firms in clusters really more innovative?," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 325-342.
  21. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Francesco Nicolli & Marianna Gilli, 2013. "Sustainability and Competitiveness in Evolutionary Perspectives. Environmental Innovations, Structural Change and Economic Dynamics in the EU," Working Papers 2013042, University of Ferrara, Department of Economics.
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